MONDAY MUSINGS: What Iowa State coaches/personalities are up to during the quarantine

Instead of launching spring football this week, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell is just like all of you. Staying home and killing time. 

The COVID-19 crisis does not discriminate. Black, brown or white. Rich or poor. Male or female. Young and old. Doesn’t matter! We are all in this together. 

While wrangling two princesses under the age of five and attempting to kill time over the weekend, I was tuned into one of the cable news channels where a therapist came on and suggested that folks reach out to their friends. You know, to check on them and what not. Ask what’s up?

Hence the birth of the idea for this column … what are your favorite Cyclone coaches and personalities doing during the downtime?

I sent out a bunch of text messages to learn just that. Here is what I founded out. 

Head football coach, Matt Campbell…

…Is this not the most Matt Campbell answer ever?!?!?!?! 

“Chris, the fun in the Campbell house goes as such: Every morning 12-10- year old daughter with Erica vs 6-4 year old son and me 3 on 3 hoops in the driveway. Tears, arguing after every game. Learning teamwork, competition, and best how to lose. If that works that is how are days are starting in the Campbell house!”

Coach is starting the “process” early with those kids. 

Head men’s basketball coach, Steve Prohm…

I texted Coach Prohm on Saturday afternoon. 

“Watching NC State vs. Houston,” he replied. 

Excuse me?

“The 1983 game is on CBS!”


Prohm is also in the middle of recruiting – or at least trying to under quarantine. Lots of text messaging and video chats, one can only assume. 

Head women’s basketball coach, Bill Fennelly…

“We are limiting our time out of the house. This weekend we went to see debs dad (her moms funeral was Tuesday). We see the grandkids for a short time. Projects around the house /cleaned out freezers and took stuff to food pantry. Trying to order at least a meal day to pick up with local businesses. Watching stuff on TV I did not know existed-some “odd” stuff they put on!! And spending LOTS of time communicating with our team/staff etc. We want to try and stay on top of things in all areas of our program. Academics/workout plans/ recruiting—life has seemed to stop but when it gets going again we want to be READY.”

From the Utah Jazz, Georges Niang…

Niang actually was a part of the Rudy Gobert (his Utah Jazz teammate) scare a few weeks ago. Luckily, the Cyclone legend did not test positive for coronavirus. Physically though, he is still being affected by the “invisible enemy.”

I have been watching tv and eating watching my belly grow into an egg shape,” Niang said. 

Very on-brand. 

We can all relate with former Cyclone Jake Sullivan…

Former Cyclone men’s basketball player Jake Sullivan…

“Breaking up arguments between my children and working on writing a book.”

Eric Heft from the Cyclone Radio Network…

This man is my hero…

“Last Sunday- bought Traeger, assembled. Monday- took care of granddaughters, smoked ribs (delicious). Tuesday- took care of granddaughters, grilled chicken (very tasty). Wednesday- grilled brats (always a hit). Thursday (our anniversary) smoked then seared rib eyes (fantastic). Friday- smoked whole beer can chicken (juicy!) Saturday carry out pizza (very good but not smoky). Today- smoking a brisket (will be fabulous). Each day I have searched for the perfect mix of alcohol and cigars to aid in getting the food just right. I think it’s working.”

Seriously folks. When I grow up, I want to be Eric Heft. 

Pandemic? Meh. Let’s make some killer meats, hang with the fam, smoke some cigars and drink some booze. 

Another one of my Cyclone Radio Network colleagues has a fascinating story to tell about the last few weeks…

Ben Bruns from the Cyclone Radio Network

“Hey CW, I’m actually in the middle of this fight. My team is developing a module ICU hospital we can fabricate in our warehouse and ship wherever it’s needed. The final product will be significantly less expensive than site-built institutional grade isolation units and have the ability to stand alone in a parking lot of field or be hooked up to power, medical gas and plumbing at a hospital site. We expect that once we are up to speed, we’ll be able to produce a hospital a week with bed capacity in the 16 to 24 range depending on whether or not systems want 1:1 patient rooms or ward-style units. They are stackable so you can literally expand the modules over and over if you have enough staff and space.

I was with the hospital systems and first responders from Brown County in the Resch center in Green Bay yesterday figuring out how to convert the arena to non-covid patient space.

Our team built 9 drive-through testing facilities for Aurora health from Chicago to Oshkosh in a manner of just a couple of days last week.”

That’s amazing! 

Well done, Brunsy. Keep up the great work! 

What is the Godfather up to these days?

John Walters, Voice of the Cyclones 

“I’m blessed to be able to work from home right now and that’s kept me pretty busy and kept my mind off things. But I’m trying to take advantage of the time at home too. My daughter and I have been walking about four or five miles a day and that’s been awesome. The fresh air really helps. And when Joni and I decide to meet for happy hour (back porch) that happens about 40 seconds after my work day ends instead of 40 minutes. I’ve also made phone calls daily to check up on relatives and friends. I think that’s really important right now. I’ve been reading The Athletic a lot, and diving into Joe Posnanski’s series on the top 100 baseball players. He’s such a gifted writer. I’ve really enjoyed that. I also listened to a great podcast interview with Pat Hughes. So, we’re trying to make the most of an awful situation and praying for the doctors and nurses on the front lines – they’re heroes! God Bless, stay home, stay safe – but get outside and get some fresh air – we all need that.”

And last but certainly not least, let’s check in with another Cyclone Radio colleague, Lyndsey Fennelly. 

Lyndsey Fennelly, former Cyclone WBB player & Cyclone Radio Network

“Potty training our toddler.PE coach & teacher to our 5 year old. Organizer to my husband who isn’t used to life at home so helping him be efficient and not go stir crazy.

I meanwhile feel extra prepared for this: I take pills to manage anxiety & help with sleep, I’m very limited on all types of media, and have worked from home for over a decade. I’ve rented my CampusCycle bikes despite shutting down the business, canceled over 15 speaking gigs, and have a host of professional and personal events now being possibly canceled. It’s not easy. And it’s not glorious. But it’s fun to be around the people i love the most.”

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